USAA is one of the most popular options for car insurance in the United States. The company is unique in that customers must first become members of USAA in order to purchase a policy. Membership is exclusive to individuals in the armed forces and certain family members. In general, the company receives stellar ratings from customers and third-party rating agencies. USAA came out on top of The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey.
USAA or AAA: Which company is best for you?
USAA and AAA are two very popular options for insurance, but each company has its own unique features. Eligibility and availability set these companies apart from most other major insurance providers, meaning that some customers may not even be able to find a policy through USAA or AAA. Still, for those who are eligible, both companies have coverage options that satisfy the needs of many customers.
Take a look at our in-depth comparison to see which company comes out on top.
USAA car insurance
AAA car insurance
Perhaps best known for its roadside assistance programs, AAA also offers car insurance to its members. In most cases, coverage is not provided by AAA themselves, but through partner companies. AAA simply acts as an intermediary, meaning that coverage options and experiences can be vastly different based on location.
USAA vs. AAA: car insurance rate comparison
Affordability is an important consideration when shopping for an auto policy. Your rates are determined by many factors, including your driving history, state regulations and your credit score — at least in most states.
To give you a better sense of how USAA and AAA rates stack up, we've gathered average rates based on a few different factors. Take a look at the figures below to get a sense of which company could be most affordable for you.
USAA has the cheapest rates at $106 per month. AAA comes in considerably higher at $151 per month.
USAA vs. AAA: pricing by credit score
For those with very poor credit, USAA could be preferable to USAA. Typically, USAA offers better rates than AAA for drivers with credit scores lower than 580. Insurance shoppers with exceptional credit — a score of 800 or better — should consider USAA, which typically beats AAA by $1,974 annually. Check out typical insurance rates by credit level for AAA and USAA below.
RATES BY CREDIT LEVEL: AAA VS. USAA
|Credit level||USAA avg. annual premium||AAA avg. annual premium|
|Very Poor (300-579)||$2,682||$6,569|
|Very Good (740-799)||$910||$3,004|
Auto insurance data methodology
The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of The Zebra's State of Insurance car insurance pricing analysis. This analysis of more than 83 million insurance rates spans every U.S. ZIP code, using a sample user profile: a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord, good credit and full coverage at these levels:
- $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
- $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
- $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage
To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the driving profile based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies. These factors include credit score, coverage level, driving record and others.
In some instances, average rates from Liberty Mutual were derived from internally sourced sales data.
USAA vs. AAA: rates for high-risk drivers
If you're carrying an at-fault accident, speeding violation, reckless driving violation or DUI on your driving record, USAA could be a better choice than AAA. Every car insurance company will handle driving offenses differently, so don't be afraid to shop around and get quotes to find out which insurance company suits you.
RATES BY CITATION: AAA VS. USAA
|Citation||USAA avg. annual premium||AAA avg. annual premium|
|At-fault accident (damage < $1,000)||$1,304||$4,078|
|At-fault accident (damage > $1,000)||$947||$4,002|
USAA vs. AAA: rates by age
Insurance companies use age as an estimator of risk, pricing premiums accordingly. An auto insurance policy is typically most expensive for teen drivers — thanks to their inexperience — and more affordable for drivers aged 25 or older. Because every insurance company rates ages in a different way, it's smart to shop around and find the perfect policy for you.
In general, teen drivers should choose USAA over AAA: USAA offers average yearly savings of $7,392, compared to AAA.
RATES BY AGE: AAA VS. USAA
|Age bracket||USAA avg. annual premium||AAA avg. annual premium|
Affordability aside, USAA and AAA each carry pros and cons, including their discount programs, add-ons, customer satisfaction ratings, and financial stability. Be sure to get quotes and compare rates before purchasing a policy.
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Ratings comparison: USAA vs. AAA
Both USAA and AAA are widely known companies, each with a long history of third-party ratings and customer satisfaction scores. Below you'll find the compiled results of many of these most recent ratings. Included are scores for financial strength, customer complaints, and overall customer satisfaction.
|Financial strength (A.M. Best)||Superior||Superior|
|JD Power (claims satisfaction)||Excellent||Below average|
|JD Power (customer satisfaction)||Excellent||Average|
|The Zebra's editorial review score||5/5||3/5|
|The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey||4.6||4.2|
The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey
To get a better sense of how the overall customer experience, The Zebra conducted an independent survey taking a look at many different factors. Below you'll find the results for each company.
USAA topped the list as the best auto insurance carrier with an overall score of 4.6, winning in every category except online experience. Here are some other highlights:
- Top-rated overall
- Highly rated by both male and female respondents
- Highly rated by drivers in all age groups
Among the carriers on our survey, AAA ranked 13th (out of 15) with a score of 4.2. In general, the company placed near the bottom in almost every category.
- Younger respondents had a more favorable view than older drivers
- Best scores came in the trust category
The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey methodology
Findings are based on an online quantitative survey of 4,134 current U.S. auto and home insurance customers, with Census-balanced sampling by age, gender and region. Categories with n=<20 responses are considered insufficient sample size and are not reported. This survey was developed by The Zebra and executed by independent research firm Maru/Blue in 2021.
|Anti-lock brake system|
|Student away at school||✓|
|Affinity membership alum||✓|
|Pay in full||✓|
|eSign or ePay|
Due to AAA's partnerships with other car insurance companies to provide policies, some of these discount options may not be available in some locations. Always ask about what discounts you are eligible for when shopping for your policy.
Telematics options: USAA vs. AAA
USAA and AAA both offer telematics programs that can help to measure your driving habits and calculate the level of risk you pose. Take a look at our rundown of available options from both carriers below.
SafePilot offers customers the chance to have their driving habits monitored in exchange for cheaper car insurance rates. A discount of 10% is offered just for signing up, with up to 30% savings possible for safe drivers at policy renewal.
Depending on the state in which they reside, some customers may be able to sign up for OnBoard, AAA's telematics option. The company boasts savings of 15% at sign-up, with total savings of up to 30% possible for eligible drivers. However, there is no separate app at the time of writing, meaning that all participants must download the AAA mobile app.
Roadside assistance: USAA vs. AAA
No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road. If you ever find yourself in that situation, you'll want a roadside assistance program that can get you back on the road quickly. Take a look at each company's roadside assistance options below.
USAA offers the following roadside assistance services to policyholders:
- Flat tire changing
- Fuel delivery
- Lock-out service
- Stuck vehicle assistance
Another perk of USAA membership is that these services are also available at reduced rates to policyholders without roadside assistance on their policy.
Perhaps no other company is more closely associated with roadside assistance than AAA. For that reason, it's no surprise that the company has an expansive selection of options available to both members and policyholders. Below is a list of options available:
- Fuel delivery
- Vehicle lockout
- flat tire service
- Stuck vehicle services
AAA offers different levels of membership that apply to roadside assistance. Those in higher tiers are often reimbursed for larger amounts or eligible for towing for longer distances. The highest tier even offers trip interruption coverage.
USAA homeowners insurance review
Similar to USAA's car insurance, customer eligibility is limited to those in the armed forces and their families. Still, the company's coverage remains highly rated and quite popular. Most customers will find the coverage suitable to their needs, with a good number of add-ons and discounts available.
USAA topped every category in homeowners portion of The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey, indicating a strong focus on the customer.
- The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — 4.6/5: USAA topped every category of our homeowners customer satisfaction survey.
- J.D. Power Rating — Among the Best: J.D. Power rates USAA above average in claims and customer service satisfaction.
- Financial strength — Superior: A "Superior" financial strength rating by A.M. Best shows USAA's ability to pay out claims is solid.
- NAIC Rating — Excellent: Regarding USAA, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) received relatively few customer complaints when compared to the market median.
AAA homeowners review
As with AAA's car insurance offering, the company partners with a number of affiliated insurers to provide homeowners coverage. These companies include CSAA and Auto Club Indemnity Company. Ratings of AAA's home insurance offering are a composite of these companies in an effort to give a broad idea of what customers can expect.
- The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — 4.2/5: AAA ranked 14th in the overall homeowners carrier category of The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey.
- Customer Service (J.D. Power) — Below Average: The average J.D. Power ranking of CSAA and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance group comes in just shy of the average for customer satisfaction.
- Financial Strength (AM Best) — Excellent: With a financial rating of “excellent,” you can rest assured AAA will be able to handle your claims.
- Claims Satisfaction (NAIC) — Fewer complaints than average: The average number of complaints across different branches of AAA homeowners insurance companies is fewer than average.
USAA vs. AAA: home insurance rate comparison
USAA's average homeowners insurance rate is $127 per month. The average rates for AAA come in slightly cheaper at $108 per month. It's important to note that every company has its own underwriting methods, meaning that prices can vary one company to another. This is even true amongst AAA partner companies.
Home insurance rates are comprised of both individual and environmental factors. This can include things such as your claims history, area crime and your proximity to fire fighting services. For this reason, it's important to shop around when looking for home insurance quotes.
AAA has cheaper rates than USAA on average, coming in at around $108 per month to USAA's average of $127 per month.
Homeowners insurance data methodology
The homeowners insurance rates published in this guide are based on The Zebra's analysis of the cost of home insurance in every U.S. ZIP code. These rates are based on a sample user profile: a 45-year-old married homeowner living in a 2,500-square-foot single-story home built in 2011 with these coverage levels:
- $200,000 for the dwelling
- $20,000 for other structures
- $100,000 for personal property
- $100,000 for personal liability
- $1,000 deductible
To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the homeowner profile based on common pricing factors used by major home insurance companies. These factors include location, coverage limits, claims record and others.
|Recent home buyer|
|Newer/more durable roof||✓|
|Protective devices (smoke/burglar alarms, etc.)||✓||✓|
|Paid in full|
Other insurance products and bundling options
USAA and AAA both offer multiple lines of insurance that can be bundled together. This can streamline your insurance policies and also lead to potential savings. Along with auto and home, customers may be able to add life, pet, or even small business coverage from USAA and AAA. Take a look at the additional coverage types available from each company below.
|Mobile home insurance||✓|
|Offroad vehicles and ATVs||✓||✓|
|Farm and ranch||✓|
Find the best insurance policy for your needs.
About The Zebra
The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.
The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.